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Columnist: Negotiating silence isn’t so golden this week

Nov 14, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Donald Fehr: AP

Last week, many observers were pleased that the NHL and NHLPA weren’t providing many quips as lengthy negotiating sessions took place.

Yet with no plans for a meeting as of Tuesday,’s Joe Haggerty argues that silence isn’t such a positive thing this week.

Haggerty points out that the next missed pay period is coming on Thursday (Nov. 15), which might explain this inflammatory quote from an anonymous source.

“It is complete [expletive],” said one fired up hockey source as nothing has come from last week’s marathon negotiating sessions. “There is a deal that could be done in a day. Both sides should be shot for how they have conducted this negotiation.”

Haggerty believes that some were waiting for Thursday to pass – when 20 percent of season earnings have gone by the wayside – to kick off the real negotiations.

Here’s one informal deadline according to Haggerty:

Even better the NHL is starting to hit a point in the hockey calendar when starting on Dec. 1 becomes problematic. The NHL and NHLPA have roughly a week to get a new CBA hammered out, and begin training camps around the league immediately following Thanksgiving. One expects there will be one last legitimate effort from both sides to nail down a deal before they turn December into more NHL scorched earth.

Haggerty also thinks that the 2013 All-Star Game has already become a “lockout casualty,” even if though that hasn’t been made official.

Read his column for more interesting talk that vacillates between hopeful and depressing, but at least he ends on a (somewhat) positive note:

All of this doom and gloom could go away as soon as Friday if the breakthrough happens that so many people – aside from those leading the NHL and NHLPA, of course – can envision so very easily. It remains to be seen whether that will actually happen, and take the godforsaken lockout talk with it.

  1. islesjb - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    That picture confirms what I’ve always suspected- Donald Fehr loves the smell of his own farts.

    I frigging hate this lockout

    • ballistictrajectory - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Best post of the month, so far!!!

  2. tmoore4075 - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    It is beyond frustrating because everyone who is not a douchebag in this negotiation see a proposal to be made. They have gotten closer on HRR, make whole and revenue sharing and now it’s contracts. So if they get close on that then what will come up next?? The contract thing should be fairly painless if they are both willing to give a little. The 5% variance solves the biggest problem the NHL has and that’s back-diving contracts. So if you get that you really don’t need a 5 year term limit. I just don’t get it. They are both willing to lose a season over this??? The season lost to get a cap I understood and lived with but these are things that you can work out if you are both willing to sacrifice a little. AHHHHH!

  3. villi5ed - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    If you want a good laugh, go to and click on any story concerning the locket. Then go
    to the comments section. You will find remarks made in support of the owners with a PLUS 93
    rating. In other words, in a forum that never sees more variance than, say, 17 or 18 thumbs up
    or downs, you will find.a +93. +64. +56. All in support of the owners.

    Incredible. The league has obviously resorted to stuffing the ballot box in order to try to move
    public opinion. I can just see countless assistants and temps at the NHL offices in NY and Toronto
    continuing to make new usernames so they can get their quota of 38 fake IDs done per day, with
    Chrome Dome Daley sticking his head in the door every fifteen minutes: “More, you peons! More!

    • valoisvipers - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      Count me in as being on the owner side and I can assure you I am neither a plant nor a peon. It is beyond me how anyone could side with the players. Do you think they should get paid for 82 games this year?

      • villi5ed - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

        I have been reading the TSN site for years. There has NEVER been a majority on ANY issue EVER that showed more than a 17-20 variance in the thumbs up or down category. In fact, TSN’s tracking poll on the lockout has for more than 59 days now shown that the majority of “voters” has been backing the players. So +94 for a pro-owner post? With another at +64. Impossible without ballot-stuffing. Statistically impossible.

        I am well aware there is blame on each side of the table here. But if you don’t think, after the Frank Luntz revelations, that the NHL is doing everything it can to sway public opinion ——- including flooding inboxes at heavily trafficked websites ——– you are delusional.

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        I’m more on the owners side, but then you realize that you’re on the side of gary Bettman, and you realize how miserable the entire situation is.

    • stakex - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Thats the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.

      Perhaps the reason so many people are in support of the owners is because they are the one side actually trying to end the lockout? Thats not to say they are offering the players a great deal or anything, but they have in fact moved to the center pretty fast as where Fehr has the players moving in the wrong direction.

      I mena look at the fact:

      1. Fehr expects the NHL to pay players in full for the season, even though at least 20-30% of the season will be lost. Thats a non-starter thats simply not going to happen… ever. If thats why we lose the season its a joke.

      2. The league is willing to do a 50/50 split, and defer lost player salary for a couple years, but still pay all contracts in full (the “make whole” provision). Fehr keeps saying making sure the players get paid in full is his main goal… yet even though thats what the owner are willing to do, hes still not accepting it. He won’t take yes for an awnser.

      3. The contract issues are the other big sticking point. The owners want players to stay restricted free agents one year longer, limit contracts to five years, and limit how much a contract can vary year to year. Do the players REALLY need 15 year contracts? Is there anything wrong with doing away with cap circumventing deals? Fehr obviously thinks so, since hes willing to lose the season over these issues.


      So when you look at the issues, and when you consider that the owners ALWAYS win CBA negotiations… there is only one side to blame here: The players (Fehr to be more specific). The owners have clearly reached their basement offer, and the players have in fact gotten some movement out of them. The owners are willing to pay contracts in full, and have agreed to more revenue sharing. If the players simply signed this deal, it would be fine for them.

      So now is the time to accept the deal. It doesn’t get any better from here on out for the players, but Fehr doesn’t care about ending the lockout or doing whats best for the players. He wants to look like the hard ass who stuck it to the owners. Lets see how much of a hard ass he looks like when hes crawling back to the owners to sign the deal thats on the table now in the middle of the summer… because thats how this ends if no deal is reached soon.

      • valoisvipers - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        You are right on stakex!

      • paledevil - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        I guess they should of extended a year so they could come to a comprehensive agreement.. Its the owners saying “Lock the doors”

  4. sharksfan97 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Agreed! Bravo Villi5ed!!

  5. mmchugh619 - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    It’s really getting to the point where neither side can really be trusted by the fans. I’ve supported the players during all of this, but I’m really getting fed up with both sides. Enough already and bring in the federal mediator so we can get this wrapped up in two-three days and begin training camps on 11/23 or 11/24.

  6. joeyashwi - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    If it was truly players vs owners, they would have had a deal already. The problem is when you throw two egomaniacal negotiators into the same room and it becomes Fehr vs Bettman. I find it amusing that the most civil and productive talks occurred when neither of them was involved. Players, get rid of Fehr, he killed baseball! Owners, get rid of Bettman, no other commissioner has had the record of futility in work stoppages that he has.
    Neither Fehr nor Bettman are hockey guys. I don’t care if they are “business” guys, this isn’t fricking Exxon! Get a commissioner who actually cares about the sport and a union rep who actually cares about the sport as well and save the great sport of hockey once and for all!!! Bettman and Fehr had their chance, in fact Bettman has had three. Time for change!!!!

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      This. So much this. All day this. Tattoo this on both guys’ foreheads (flipped horizontally) so they can read this in the bathroom mirror.

  7. paledevil - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    To be fair and since the photo does it justice. Fehrs new nickname should be Mossilini

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